Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon
Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon

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Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon

2.7.4 Telling the time

To ask the time, you say:

Quelle heure est-il? What time is it?

When telling the time, you use the expression il est…

For full hours:

Il est une heure.

Il est cinq heures.

Il est midi. It's midday.

Il est minuit It's midnight.

For half hours, you say:

  • 3:30 Il est trois heures et demie.

For quarter hours, you say:

  • 7:15 Il est sept heures et quart.

  • 9:45 Il est dix heures moins le quart

For other sub-divisions you say:

  • 8:05 Il est huit heures cinq.

  • 9:10 Il est neuf heures dix.

  • 11:20 Il est onze heures vingt.

  • 14:35 Il est trois heures moins vingt-cinq.

To distinguish between am and pm, you say du matin (till 12 noon), de l'après-midi (till 4 or 5 pm), du soir (till 12 midnight).

When more precision is required, people give exact hours and minutes:

  • 7.45 Il est sept heures quarante-cinq

Activité 37

Écoutez et écrivez l'heure.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 26
Skip transcript: Audio 26

Transcript: Audio 26

Extrait 64
Numéro Un
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 1heure et quart
Numéro Deux
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 11 heures et demie
Numéro Trois
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est midi vingt.
Numéro Quatre
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 2 heures de l’après-midi.
Numéro Cinq
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 9 heures moins vingt
Numéro Six
Quelle heure est-il?
Il est 3 heures moins le quart.
End transcript: Audio 26
Audio 26
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Listen to Extract 64, in which various people are being asked the time, and write down their answers.

Écoutez et écrivez l'heure.


1 h 15 une heure quinze


  1. 1 h 15

  2. 11 h 30

  3. 12 h 20

  4. 14 h 00

  5. 8 h 40

  6. 2 h 45


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